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Film / The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires

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In this 1974 vampire feature, Hammer Horror meets Shaw Brothers Kung Fu cinema.

In 1804, a man named Kah awakens Dracula from his slumber and asks him to help bring his masters, the Seven Golden Vampires, back to power. Dracula instead decides to take the whole operation over and sets out for China.

A hundred years later, Professor Van Helsing (Peter Cushing) is lecturing in China, but is about to leave as his vampire theories have been met with disbelief. He then meets Hsi Ching (David Chiang), who tells him that his home village is under the Golden Vampires' terror, and asks his help. Van Helsing agrees and sets out with Hsi Ching's brothers and sister to the village.

This movie was the stake through Hammer's heart; they made no more Dracula movies after this.

The Shaws would collaborate with Hammer studios again in the same year, in the spy-espionage thriller Shatter.


Examples in this movie:

  • Action Girl: Mai Kwei (Shih Szu) fights as well as her brother. Doesn't stop her from becoming a Damsel in Distress for Leyland to rescue in the ending.
  • Blade on a Stick: Po-Kwei fights with a spear.
  • Bilingual Dialogue: Kah in the pre-credits sequence speaks Chinese to Dracula, who understands him perfectly.
  • Bling-Bling-BANG!: The 7 Golden Vampires wield golden swords.
  • Body Snatcher: Instead of helping a mere minion, Dracula takes over Kah's body when he decides to go to China.
  • Carry a Big Stick: Chi-Tao fights with a spiked club.
  • Chinese Vampire: Used as hopping mooks to the more athletic European-style Golden Vampires.
  • Clothing Damage: Vanessa goes through some during the journey to the village.
  • Cower Power: Vanessa cowers behind Van Helsing during the fight against Leung Hon's mooks out in the field.
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  • Dramatic Thunder: Thunder rumbles in the background as Dracula dies in the end.
  • Dual Wielding: Hsi Ta uses two axes and his sister Mai Kwei uses two daggers.
  • Fanservice Extra: The 7 Golden Vampires seem to really prefer their victims topless.
  • Gun Struggle: Leyland fights over a knife with one of Leung Hon's mooks, and stabs the guy.
  • Hooks and Crooks: Some of the undead mooks attack Leland with Chinese hook swords during the cave ambush.
  • Human Sacrifice: The 7 Golden Vampires require sacrifices. Much of their terror comes from how they ride the countryside at night and snatch young girls to that end.
  • Impromptu Tracheotomy: One of Hsi-Ching's kills is a mook whose throat he clawed out... with his fingers.
  • Kill It with Fire: Prof. Van Helsing makes good use of this trope, first by killing one of the Seven Golden Vampires by accidentally sticking a torch into it, and later giving the same fate to some mooks in the finale.
  • Malevolent Masked Men: The 7 Golden Vampires (golden masks) and their mooks (skull masks).
  • No Immortal Inertia: Vampires and mooks turn to dust upon defeat.
  • "Number of Objects" Title: 7 vampires as said in the title.
  • Pivotal Wake-up: When Kah reaches Dracula's casket, he bows before it, causing the thing open by itself. Dracula then gets up with the power of this trope.
  • Prongs of Poseidon: Some of the undead mooks use tridents.
  • Rise from Your Grave: Dracula's undead mooks reside in their graves, until summoned by sounding a gong.
  • Same Language Dub: John Forbes-Robertson's lines were dubbed over by David de Keyser.
  • Slashed Throat: Hsi Tien-en in the flashback, who manages to destroy one of the Golden Vampires, had his throat cut by the swords of two others.
  • Staking the Loved One: Hsi Ching is forced to kill Vanessa after she is turned into a vampire. Grieved over this, he kills himself as well.
  • Transhuman Treachery: Vanessa turns evil pretty fast once she's bitten, and proceeds to attack Hsi Ching, her Love Interest.
  • The Triads and the Tongs: Before all the vampire/zombie kung fu action, a more flesh and blood obstacle is presented for our heroes in the form of Leung Hon, a Tong leader in Ching Kun who wants to snatch Vanessa for himself.
  • Who Dares?: Dracula's first spoken lines.
    "Who dares to disturb the sanctity of Dracula?"
  • Writers Cannot Do Math: Dracula leaves his Transylvanian castle in 1804, and audience introduced to Van Helsing circa 1904. Despite this, Van Helsing claims that he has defeated Dracula in the past (100 years ago?).
  • The X of Y: The film's title


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